Brewer's Droop #257
I’ve been quiet for a while mainly because business has been frantic (good) and every time I find something to rant about the goalpost are moved (not so good). Anyway, apologies for that.
WHAT ARE THE ODDS?
Does anyone know what the bookies are offering on Zuma and Gigaba’s chances of survival? I wouldn’t mind having a little flutter.
MEANWHILE, IN THE COURTS…
I don’t know about you, but I get really confused with our judicial system sometimes.
It seems that a Magistrate is of no consequence, especially for poor people who have no connections and cannot afford decent legal representation. It’s those who find themselves in jail quickly.
But for others who have more funds and better lawyers, the moment they’re found guilty an appeal is lodged. When that fails they launch another appeal and so on. The process takes years.
Take the case of Judge Nkola Motata who was convicted of drunk driving in 2009. He appealed and failed. As far I know he’s still wriggling and has been on “special leave” since 2007 after crashing into the wall of a Johannesburg property. Maybe Mr. Bumble will use his extraordinary executive powers to clear him of all charges and let him retire in peace?
And political parties? They all seem to ignore the lower courts and, like in Monopoly, go “straight to the Constitutional Court” and, in many cases, even then the judgements are ignored.
And, let’s face it, Magistrates aren’t exactly pillars of wisdom with brilliant legal acumen are they?
In fact in many cases their judgements are ill-founded and pounced upon by relatively junior lawyers.
I remember a story from my youth which you may find relevant and amusing, so bear with…
As a young man (about 20 I think) I was arrested, along with my flat mate, in the UK for “stealing council property valued at 18 shillings.”
What had happened was we’d seen a one-way street sign apparently abandoned in a gutter (the signs had been redesigned and replaced you see) and we put it on the wall of our flat for fun.
One night we had a party and someone complained about the noise and two policemen arrived and asked us to be quiet – which is what we did.
The next morning, the two cops came round again and one of them arrested us. To be fair to the constable, his girlfriend often used to spend the night with me when he was on duty so I can’t really blame him. I was just surprised he didn’t notice her when he’d come to the flat the night before.
So off we went to court.
In those days a Magistrate was a Justice of the Peace and was advised on legal issues by a clerk and, in this case, I knew the chap who was even less qualified than I was at the time.
Anyway, I addressed the court and said that we understood the charge but that neither of us thought we were doing anything wrong. The clerk jumped up and said “that is of no importance because it WAS wrong!”
So I replied “actually it is important because in a case like this there has to be evidence of both Mens Rea (guilty mind) and Actus Rea (guilty action) and whilst we did perform a guilty action, according to you, there was no ‘guilty mind’ present. Therefore we cannot be convicted.”
And neither were we.
Of course these days the court would have appealed and we’d have been in trouble.
As I left the court I was immediately stopped by the same policeman and charged with not obeying a stop sign. Sigh. So he got his revenge in the end I suppose. (I did stop by the way but it was his word and his mate’s against mine – another endorsement on my drivers licence).
AN IMPORTANT CONFERENCE
Times are tough – and about to get a whole lot worse following the downgrades – especially in poor communities. Low-income consumers are struggling to survive, and face major challenges and social problems on a daily basis. However, this market still presents MASSIVE opportunities for brands that want to grow their market share and profits, especially brands that are able to deliver real value to these people’s lives.
In order to reach and succeed with consumers in low-income and poor communities, it’s crucial for marketers and businesses to really understand the changing environment, shifting attitudes, new trends, and real needs and aspirations of this market.
There’s a most interesting conference called “Marketing Strategies for Low-Income Consumers” happening soon on 10–11 May 2017 in Johannesburg and 1–2 August 2017 in Cape Town.
The organisers of this event (KR) say that it will change the way you think about low-income consumers, and will help you to successfully tap into the lives of these elusive consumers.
It’s an incredibly interesting line-up of speakers and interactive discussion sessions with STOKVEL members and INFORMAL TRADERS who will share their stories and answer YOUR questions.
Check it out by clicking this link:
Or you could phone Maureen du Toit on 083 226 6657 (Maureen).
Meanwhile enjoy the Easter holidays!